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No A/C Stinks

I’ve been sweating so badly in this shirt that it has started to smell like a moldy tent.

The repair man’s supplier finally came through. We will be upgraded from a 10 SEER unit to a 13 SEER.

Today, it is rare to see systems rated below SEER 9 in the United States because aging, existing units are being replaced with new, higher efficiency units. The United States now requires that residential systems manufactured after 2005 have a minimum SEER rating of 13… [Source]

I rush the estimate to our very kind insurance agent who ala Brazil cannot find my record at first then finds it offering me a Coke and, along with his Oscar winning smile, utters, "uh oh. Bad news." Hold it! When a guy has been in deadly heat for over two weeks and you have just exclaimed, "you’ve been without air for two weeks!" do not follow it with "bad news." Turns out he wrote his last check yesterday. He thought he had another checkbook but said the local claims office will have to get in touch with me and that I should hear from them within the next 24 hours. Yes, story of my life! None-the-less, I am thrilled!

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I covered the back door in plastic!

It has been so cold in my office that I have taken to wearing layers and a wool cap just to work.

Happy wife: "Honey that looks great! It feels 10 degrees warmer in here already!"
Wife irritated that I am cutting, drilling and doing home improvement instead of getting myself ready and helping getting the kids ready for Blogfest: "You know the cat is just going to tear that down."

If you watch that, I can’t give you those 3 minutes of your life back.

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Are clothes lines passe?

Yup. The dryer has died a horrible death. It would seem the heating element has gone out. That means we have two dryers in the basement without a means to dry clothes. The quandary! Do I repair one dryer, two dryers, or no dryers? I could get environmentally sound and setup a clothes line behind the house. I think perhaps I’ll do some shopping today. Considering the dryer is over 10 years old and runs almost 24/7 I think it has served its time.

Update: The heating element will be available for $57.06 tomorrow but Dave’s Repair suggests that I am skipping a couple of troubleshooting steps. It could simply be that our dryer vent is blocked (anyone thinking squirrel?) or that our circuit isn’t providing 240V. Hehehe! Whar’s my meter?! The parts supply store also explained that a new dryer isn’t likely to be that much more energy efficient that the efficiency comes from how well it heats.

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Forced Child Labor

I know they rather be playing video games or watching tv. Today I wrangled Noah into helping me. He won one of those new Playstation2s that are thin and sleek. The old, bulky Playstation2 will become a communal gaming system in the living room. Noah would much rather be playing his new system but I forced him to come downstairs. and showed him how to pull wire through the ceiling. Then we fished it up through the wall to his bedroom where I showed him how to connect the wire to a RJ45 in the same face plate as his cable jack. We talked about wiring then came downstairs to learn how to crimple a plug onto the other end of the wire. Then we learned what a switch is used for and where the Internet connection comes into our house. Although Noah was good company, it didn’t really peak his interest until I showed him how we could plug the a wire from his jack into the back of his new Playstation so that he could play online. See, the old style Playstations did not have a network jack built-in and we never purchased the newwork adapter. Noah lit up! (And can say he wired his own room for the Internet)

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They are just being naked kids

One of the children..I am guessing that it was one of the children..sat on, leaned on, or otherwise put substantial weight on the door of our dryer. The metal at the hinges bent enough that the door will no longer stay closed. I am about to get creative with a drill and a latch like on our refrigerator. If this gets worse, we won’t be able to dry clothes. That will teach the kids! "I understand that it is snowing. Perhaps your panties will dry by lunch. Don’t mind the jokes from the other children."

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Today’s construction lessons/reminders

  1. Just because you have a rotary tool doesn’t mean you should use it
  2. Drywall is made out of dust
  3. A razor blade cuts drywall very well it’s just not as cool as a rotary tool
  4. Razor blades also cut fingers
  5. There is a reason your safety goggles are in your working pile of tools instead of in storage in the garage
  6. Razor blades do not automatically cut straight lines
  7. Take your time or take a lot of time…it’s your choice
  8. Do not walk away and think the mess will clean itself up
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Anyone familiar with Knox County building codes?

Does anyone know the minimum distances a wood stove needs to sit from walls? The stove is already in place so the backside with the pipe into the wall does not concern me. I need to know how close a wall can be to the side of the stove.

The city seems to imply that I should use the manufacturer specification so this may be my answer.

Just purchased a used fischer woodstove, approximately 32″ long x 22″ wide x 37″ high, with double doors. No tags attached to indicated placement distance from wall. Any idea? What is the best material to put behind the stove to protect the wall? Stove has 8″ hole in back of stove for pipe. Is it okay to reduce the pipe to 6″? Should we install the fire proof rope on the inside of the doors?
Answers to all these questions are located in the database at, but here’s a quickie.

  1. Do not reduce from 8 to 6
  2. 36″ clearances to combustibles with no protection
  3. That stove did not use a gasket on the door, however, you can place one there if you like. You should use a flat gasket for this (available at stove stores)
  4. Wall protection – sheet metal, cement board, brick, stone, etc. with proper air spaces.
Check the Q and A and the document for more.


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Filed under “dumbass”

  1. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet
  2. Do read the label on the box which in bold letters read “DO NOT USE TO REMOVE SQUIRRELS, BATS OR BIRDS.”
  3. Moth balls do get rid of squirrels in the attic (temporarily) while poisoning the humans and giving them cancer.

On a side note, I’m having awfully good memories of visiting Great-grandmother’s house.

Update: About 5 hours later the house doesn’t stink any longer.